Wed | Feb 21, 2018

Daddies’ day out at Fun Fest 2017

Published:Thursday | January 4, 2018 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew
(From left) Shermaine, Marleigh-Rose and Damion Gager made Fun Fest their last family day out for 2017.
(From left) KGD of Judgement Yard in August Town, makes son, Zion (centre), an up-and-coming artiste, and cousin, Derrick Style pose for a picture.
Up-and-coming artiste and Fun Fest child star Zion sings with emotion at the 2017 New Year’s Eve staging.
Does this Fun Fest 2017 patron look afraid of the Optimus Prime mascot or what.
This little boy gets ready for the mechanical bull ride of his life at Fun Fest at Hope Gardens on December 31.
Jodiann Derby and Tamesha Morrison sandwich Oliver Francis who holds Malia Woolcock for a photo.
Baby Skyler keeps her dad, Fabian McKoy busy as he tries to give her a snow cone treat.
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FamFun Entertainment, organisers of Funfest: The Unique Family Festival, always knows how to put the fun in family. However, the event that is staged with an open-door policy for all, remarkably seemed to have caught the attention of more fathers this time around.

Fancy Cat applauded all fathers present at the festival, as well as shared advice. The Funfest resident MC, told The Gleaner, "fathers must stay close to them youth, there are many that boast about having five or more children, but don't even know them name" just before addressing the audience.

Noting the number of males with children in the audience, Fancy Cat acknowledged one, Owen Pitter, voted as the best father to his stepchildren, by a group of patrons. He was awarded a gift basket. The comedian and patriarch encouraged all men to live up to a high standard and carry out fatherly duties, telling men, "if you have pickney, mine it" as well as "to all real fathers" to maintain a good relationship with their children.

While face painting and balloon animals were the children's first port of call, the adults had more than 10 vendor stalls to keep them busy. Within minutes, the Lasco Water Park, Game Arcade, Tang Sports, iCool Play, Cadbury Kiddies and Oreo Fun zones were flooded with both adults and children alike trying to get a feel of all the rides.

For first-timers like Abdullah Richards, Funfest could not have been a better experience. He told The Gleaner, "the funday is a great way for fathers like myself to bond with their children".

Other fathers were seen chasing after children, as they made their ways to each play area.

Sentimental performances

Next to the rides, the main stage was the next point of attraction for the family concert segment of Funfest, although it was interrupted for a short moment.

Performances by the Jamaican Michael Jackson and Goldiana, the First Lady of Magic, had the audience in frenzy while returning artistes like Xylophone and Jai Kingston, lifted the audience spirits.

"My father was the one who introduced me to music and events like Funfest. It was our thing, though he could not sing, he made sure that I received the necessary exposure," Xylophone told The Gleaner.

Before touching the stage, Fancy Cat announced that 12-year-old Xylophone had lost her father, Andrew Moore in October 2016, which added to the singer's sentimental performance of love songs. Xylophone's rendition of Loving You, by Minnie Ripperton, as well as the selection of songs on the Answer riddim including Pinchers' Lift It Up Again, showed the emerging artiste's inner old soul.

Judgement Yard's young reggae artiste, Zion, also influenced by his father, KGD, who was also present, followed suit, as he performed a playlist of his own songs that merged a number of musical genres. The 11-year-old's lyrics, were mature but relevant and gained the attention of patrons in the distance.

Jai Kingston continued with the same energy, singing singles like Send Judah First and Marcia Griffiths' I Shall Sing. The day ended on a high with Jermaine Edwards, as patrons were caught in a sing-a-long of lyrics, 'thanking God for the sunshine and the rain' from his single, Beautiful Day.